Who makes the best lenses?


Link Posted 01/06/2012 - 15:02
We probably know the answer to who makes the best lenses, however where does pentax sit on the list (Answer)
Bodies: K5IIs, K7, MZ5n, LX, MV
Lenses: DA*16-50, DA18-55WR, DA18-135, DAL35, M50 F2, A50 f1.4, FA50 f1.4, DA*50-135, DA55-300, Tamron 70-300, DFA 100 WR Macro, M135 f3.5, Sigma 120-400 APO DG HSM, Tokina 500 f8.0
Flash: Metz 58, Metz 48
Accessories: BG4, Pentax right angle finder, Pentax mirror adaptor lens, O-ME53 Viewfinder Loupe
Auto 110 System: Auto 110, Winder, 18mm, 24mm, 50mm, 70mm, 20-40mm, AF100P, 1.7x telecon


Link Posted 01/06/2012 - 15:28
Full of nonsense

1 The samples are generally too low to be sensible

2 As far as I am aware Angenieux have never made DSLR lenses and dont make Distagons, Carl Zeiss do.

3 You cannot compare MTF values for 35mm, APSC, MF and 16mm cine lenses.
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -


Link Posted 01/06/2012 - 15:42
I fail to see how the quality of a lens can be judged soley by its MTF rating. There are so many variables in what makes a good lens.
Even if focal length & aperture are fixed, for some applications smooth Bokeh might be vital where for others edge to edge sharpness would be critical.
Pentax:K5ii, K7, K100D, DA18-55, DA10-17, DA55-300, DA50-200, F100-300, F50, DA35 AL, 4* M50, 2* M135, Helicoid extension, Tak 300 f4 (& 6 film bodies)
3rd Party: Bigmos (Sigma 150-500mm OS HSM),2* 28mm, 100mm macro, 28-200 zoom, 35-80 zoom, 80-200 zoom, 80-210 zoom, 300mm M42, 600 mirror, 1000-4000 scope, 50mm M42, enlarger lenses, Sony & micro 4/3 cameras with various PK mounts, Zenit E...
Far to many tele-converters, adapters, project parts & extension tubes etc.

.[size=11:].Flickr• WPF• Panoramio


Link Posted 01/06/2012 - 16:02
Logic flawed from first to last I'm afraid.
http://frogfish.smugmug.com/ Pentax. Pentax DA*300/4, Cosina 55/1.2, Lens Baby Composer Pro & Edge 80, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.
Nikon. D800. D600. Sigma 500/4.5, Nikon 300/2.8 VRII, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 35/2.0, Sigma 50/1.4, Nikkor 85/1.8, Nikon TC20EIII, Nikon TC14EII, Kenko x1.4, Sigma 2.0


Link Posted 01/06/2012 - 16:42
How can you judge who makes teh best lenses when they have used data from the worst lenses as well, thats ridiculous, it should be who has the highest ranked lenses based on MTF across its whole range..
PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released


Link Posted 01/06/2012 - 17:11
In overall terms, I would say that the best lenses were and are made by the major marques, but many manufacturers have some classics.

The Zeiss 80mm f2.8 for Hasselblad has to be a major contender, the f4.5 Apo-Lanthar from Voigtlander another, for 6x9cm.

Several lenses from Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Contax.

Not so many from Konica and Fujifilm.

Classic macro lenses abound.

Lenses have a character and MTF tests are not be be and end all.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 01/06/2012 - 20:52
gartmore wrote:
Full of nonsense

I agree.

It's impossible to be objective about what's a best lens. The requirements and subjectivity of each photographer is going to be very diverse and those two factors are what determines what is the best lens for each individual.
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283


Link Posted 01/06/2012 - 20:58
Not impossible. There are cetain things that are generally agreed upon and although we may not actually require the particular characteristics of a given lens, we could recognise that for its purpose it is a superior lens.

For example, an 85mm designed to be soft wide open we could recognise as being good for portraits. Portrait photographers generally might swear by it. However, if we needed an 85mm that was crisp wide open, then it would be little use to us. We could still objectively recognise its qualities.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 05/06/2012 - 01:47
johnriley wrote:
Not so many from Konica

John, I used to work with a Konica Autoreflex T3, and I think the lenses I had with the Konica were among the best I've had. Unfortunately, due to the short register distance used by Konica, they can't be used with other makes.

I would have put them against any Nikon or Canon lens in the same category, and I'm sure they would not have been lagging behind.
Yves (another one of those crazy Canucks)
Last Edited by pentaxian450 on 05/06/2012 - 01:48


Link Posted 05/06/2012 - 02:07
Let's not forget Minolta. Many of their Rokkor-X offerings were up with the best of them. I still use the 50mm 1.4 occasionally on my old Minolta XK and it's crackingly sharp (not, of course, in the same league as Pentax ). I used it professionally for several years and wouldn't have done this if it wasn't up to the job.



Link Posted 05/06/2012 - 08:32
Once you got away from the mass market lenses Olympus made
some pretty good stuff including f/2.0's at every
focal length up to (at least) 250mm

The 180mm reached 69 and 62 lpmm at f/4 way better than
everything else.... see this page at the bottom:


Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Last Edited by Algernon on 05/06/2012 - 09:02
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